Subodh Gupta, 40, does not remember the last time the Loni-Bhopra link road was repaired. A resident of Loni, Gupta says the road has been completely broken for at least a decade. “I send my car to the service station often to get the shock absorbers and suspensions replaced,” he added.
The Loni-Bhopra link is just a turn away from the Delhi-Ghaziabad border near the Wazirabad road. Nearly 2km of this 9.1km link is in a shambles. In fact, it needs to be built from scratch. Work on the stretch, however, is yet to start under the Wazirabad-Mohan Nagar road-strengthening project, which has been allocated R46 crore.
Residents say cars and two-wheelers don’t last for more than three years if they commute on the stretch. Loni has a population of five to six lakh people. Most of them avoid this road, and prefer coming to Delhi and then go to Ghaziabad via the Mohan Nagar-Wazirabad road. This is the only direct link Loni has with Ghaziabad.
“While the other part of the road has been completed up to the Loni tri-junction, this stretch is not motorable. Vehicles take 15-20 minutes just to cross this 2-km stretch. And since the road is totally broken, you are covered in dust as you drive through,” said Rajiv Mishra, another commuter.
The stretch sees heavy-vehicle movement for the area is home to many LPG bottling plants and container depots. Trucks and tempos move on the road throughout the day, which also takes a toll on the road. “The repair work of this road is the government’s duty and will take its own sweet time. We have no choice but to become immune to it,” said a vendor at the road junction.
The road was last repaired in 2008-09 at a cost of around R13 crore by the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) and it collapsed within months. Of the present R46-crore project by the UP PWD, the 9.1km Loni-Bhopra stretch would require Rs. 24 crore. PWD officials said that 70% of the work on the entire road has been completed and work on this 2-km stretch will begin once more funds arrive.